On the Farm- August 3rd
Cherokee purple. This is why I don’t buy tomatoes out of season- a field ripened, heirloom tomato still holding the afternoon warmth in its flesh. These tomatoes may be scarred, or have tough sun scalded shoulders, but nothing compares to the flavor. At all hours of the day, I will reach for a tomato that just won’t make it to market or distribution. I wield a serrated knife and pierce the flesh of my breakfast tomato, slicing oozing rounds. The meat is soft, not mealy and the sweetness of the Cherokee purple is surrounded by a faint earthy, smokiness. I abandon the knife and treat the tomato like an apple, eating it in hand. Each bite reveals a new cavern of juice and seeds. Tomato season is a time of dripping chins and juicy fingers.
Last year we felt lucky to have just a few tomatoes, as light blight decimated tomato and potato crops all around. And though many of you often ask me about the tomatoes, I cannot predict what will happen. There have been reports of late blight in Massachusetts and in western and south central New York, but the growers are working hard to destroy their plants and halt the production and spread of late blight spores. Dry weather, helps prevent the spread of the disease and we’ve had a nice dry week. I try not to farm in fear of what could happen. I do not change my values and farming practices and rely on fungicides, for even the organic approved sprays are not good for the environment or consistently effective. I continue to tend and scout the tomato plants with love and they continue to flourish. This week you will get to pick up your first few tomatoes. The plants are laden, weighing their trellises down. Green fruit hangs, just needing time to ripen into its full glory. The tomato potential this year is very high, and while I wait to see if it all that potential comes to fruition, I will eat and share as much fruit as I can.